Monday, September 29, 2014

Happiness is...

...a Sunday afternoon bike ride with my mom, dad, Mike, Liza and Jason!


We had been talking about it all summer. We all wanted to do it. When I got home at 9:30 on Saturday night after a long day of wedding photography I had a message to call my dad. He and mom wanted to come visit Sunday and ride bikes.

I was exhausted. I didn't really want to say yes. I had just done squats for eight hours. I. was. tired. But I knew yes was the right answer so I called back and told them to come.

I'm so glad that I did!

We drove to the rails to trails in town and rode about six miles. We stopped at Derailleur Bike Shop Cafe that recently opened along the trail and had some ice cream. They were super nice and turned on the Steelers game so that Mike could check in on the score. (Two thumbs up to Mike for not once complaining about missing the game! Yay for family time!)

The day was beautiful...
The memory perfect.

Thanks for coming out Mom and Dad!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Emmie and Alan ~ Flying Dove Ranch Wedding Photos

Emmie told me that she originally wasn't going to hire a photographer. Then she saw some photos that I took at a friend's wedding and she changed her mind, called me up and hired me! And then the story gets even more fun because Emmie's mom told me that the family had a garage sale and they used that money to help her pay for the photography. I love that they all pitched in and I'm so glad that they decided to have photographs of their day... because at the end of it all, photographs are what you have to help you look back and see all the little things that happened during the wedding day. The details, the people, the smiles, the moments.

Emmie and Alan got married at The Flying Dove Ranch which is near my hometown. It's a beautiful, new, outdoor venue. I was pretty nervous during the week leading up to the wedding because it rained... a lot! And it was calling for rain on the wedding day. But we all lucked out because the rain stopped and the weather turned beautiful just in time!

I loved this wedding so much. Emmie and Alan are young and so in love. Their friends and family were wonderful and the setting allowed for the whole day to feel like a giant family reunion.






Emmie and Alan didn't want to see each other before the ceremony but they did want a moment together to pray. It is probably one of my most favorite moments of all the weddings I have ever photographed. It's such an honor to be able to witness a private moment like this...















Congrats Emmie and Alan!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

April - A Photo Session

I recently had the opportunity to photograph April. She was such a fun girl and I love that we did pictures just because! You don't REALLY need a reason to have a photo session.

April also brought her boyfriend along so we got him in a couple pictures as well.









Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Home Improvements

We've been in this house for two years now. The only improving we did when we moved in was paint. A month of two after move in we took out the carpet in the dining room and our bedroom. And we left the house as is.

I'm ready for some home improvements!!!

Mike recently did a simple improvement for me. Our closets are pretty much useless. You can't put a hanger in the normal way. So we have two rods that we can hang a few clothes on. Useless. So I asked him to put some shelves in and basically turn it into a built-in dresser. The three lower shelves are what he made for me making the closet a much more useful space! We'll soon do the same in Liza's room.


We also decided it was time to take out the rest of the carpet that was left in the house. Our living room floors are now down to the original floor...


and will stay like that until we buy some laminate wood flooring. We'll put that in our living room and dining room. I'm excited! This is the floor we are looking at getting...


The biggest surprise though was the stairs! We pulled up the carpet and found this...


Yikes hahahaha!

I plan to paint them brown. And that's where I need help. Have you painted floors/stairs before? What do I need to know? Should I paint them completely brown? Or do two different colors like in the photo?If I do two different colors, how do I decide what the second color should be?

Over the next few weeks I'll be painting all the trim and walls downstairs again. I can see the dirt rail at the height of kid hands running throughout the house. A fresh coat of paint will look good! Then we'll lay the new floor and I'll paint my bedroom floor, upstairs hallway and the stairs! I need a big project to fill up some of the time that the kids are in school. :)

Anyways... any advice on painting floors and stairs?

Monday, September 22, 2014

8 Years

Today marks eight years with my beautiful Liza Mae!

She is one-of-a-kind and brings so much joy to my life. Liza is one of my greatest blessings and she has taught me to see things differently, to do life differently. She makes me a better person.

This picture...


That is Liza when she was 11 months old... walking along a beach in Florida, confident, afraid of nothing... like she owned the place.

Liza still walks with confidence today. She is a leader. Her mind amazes me. She takes on problems instead of running away from them. She stands tall and overcomes her weaknesses. She considers others and gives everyone a chance. She loves. She laughs. She brings light to the dark places.

My sweet, sweet Liza... I want to be more like you.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Cookie Table

If you go to a wedding in Western Pennsylvania and there is not a cookie table you will likely be disappointed... because you would have been expecting one.

What is a cookie table?

It's a table that is loaded with cookies that never seem to disappear. The cookie table is an amazing thing! It's the place you walk past a gazillion times while at a wedding reception and likely grab another cookie every time. It's what we do here. Mountains of cookies. It's heaven!

Usually some relatives or friends all pitch in and make tons of cookies for the bride and groom. Dozens and dozens and more dozens of cookies. I am always thankful for those people that spend time baking so I can enjoy the delicious cookies!!

Have you heard of the cookie table?
Is there a wedding tradition that is only found in your area?

















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